Ireland’s tallest residential tower, the Elysian in Cork City centre, has been sold for over €90m to global property investors Kennedy Wilson.
The deal has been referred to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for approval, given the scale of US-based Kennedy Wilson’s residential and rental investments already secured in this country.
There was intense bidding at a second stage of negotiations, with three international buyers in contention for the high-quality investment, now fully occupied with 211 apartments and which has a rent-roll of close to €5m per annum.
A symbol of the thrust of Celtic Tiger when it was developed in the mid-2000s at a reported cost of €150m, the Elysian is now a foothold in Cork for Kennedy Wilson Europe, which controls €13bn in real estate assets globally, having invested €1.5bn in Irish acquisitions and construction projects.
Over the past three years, Kennedy Wilson Europe has grown to control 2,100 Irish residential units, either already built and let or under construction, and aims to expand to 5,000 units over the next few years. It has now added 211 top-end apartments at the Elysian to its Irish portfolio, and is expected to further expand.
On a three-acre site next to Cork City Hall, and rising to a height of 71m at a 17-storey landmark tower, the Elysian was delivered by O’Flynn Construction in the mid- 2000s, and launched as the global financial crisis bit in September 2008.
Built over two basement levels with an upper-level, one-acre Japanese garden, it also hosts a restaurant, offices, medical centres, and an Aldi supermarket. Apartment rents range from €1,276 per month for a one-bed to €3,500 for a penthouse, with a waiting list now in place.
The Elysian was sold by joint agents Lisney and Savills in Cork for Carbon Finance, a subsidiary of international fund Blackstone, which acquired the O’Flynn Group’s debts from Nama for €1.1bn in 2013.
Blackstone and developer Michael O’Flynn later clashed, and came to a €400m resolution over the assets and sites, with Carbon getting the Elysian, which has been managed to date by the O’Flynn Group.
Selling agents Savills and Lisney declined to confirm reports of the Elysian’s sale. It is now expected to bring 130 apartments in Ballincollig, also developed by the O’Flynn Group, to the open market in the coming weeks.